It’s been a while since video games were considered childish and gamers themselves depicted as lazy, escapist nerds. And it’s only rightfully so that modern-day gaming enjoys the respect it deserves – it is, after all, a new-age art form that transcends all the boundaries of what is possible and what is not.
And if that’s the state of the gaming industry now, can you imagine what’s yet to come?
Part technology, part imagination, video games are currently growing along with artificial intelligence and our capacity for innovation. We cannot say for sure what form, shape, or size they will take on in the future, but we can tap into our knowledge, passion, and fancy to predict at least a part of it.
Here’s how we think the future of modern gaming will look like.
- Screenless Immersion
Recent developments in graphical capabilities may not be the all-time peak of how games look on the screen – if you compare today’s tour-de-force of the industry with the most advanced games from 35 years ago, you’ll realize that even such achievements as RDR2 will eventually be considered outdated.
But how can it get better than this?
Can you even imagine visuals more true to life than those experienced from the top of the Empire State Building in Marvel’s Spider-Man or your reflection in the stream in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? These visual masterpieces will be our pinnacle as long as our gaming experience is tied to the screen.
And thereby lies our first prediction for the future of gaming.
If screenwise, there’s nowhere to go from here, then the next step must be screenless immersion. More immersive mediums, led by VR and AR technology, will provide gamers with truly authentic experiences of being in the game instead of playing the game. The screen will no longer be the limit.
- Worlds That Never End
Remember how colossal Grand Theft Auto V seemed? Then came The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag to change our perception of how big the worlds within games can be. In comparison to them, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall is humongous – with 160 000 km² to explore.
It’s closest competitors are Fuel (14 400 km²) and The Crew (5000 km²), and that’s only if we don’t count experimental open world games such as No Man’s Sky. But if we could enter the realm that’s even more mind-boggling in terms of its size and possibilities? A world in a game that never ends?
A platform called Hadean is one step toward this reality.
With an architecture big enough to allow developers to eliminate all limitations, the gaming industry might take a trip into infinity. In such gigantic worlds, games would not only be able to host an unlimited number of players but would also proclaim the end of level-based progression as we know it.
- Cybersecurity for All
Of course, open worlds mean less split screens and more interactivity on a global level. The days when you would invite your friends over for a gaming session are long gone, never to return. Games are viral, and players are connected, which poses a big question for gamers’ cybersecurity.
If we assume, and we must, that connectivity will only become deeper rooted in our gaming habits as wireless technology continues to advance, then we must pause our digital conquests for a second to consider what this will mean in the context of our security, real-life identities, and sensitive data.
For the time being, there’s no better solution than a gaming VPN.
Virtual private networks are tried and tested security measures for gamers, and we don’t see a future where they are replaced with a better solution. The technology behind VPNs will undoubtedly become more powerful, too, providing gamers with both real-time connectivity and cutting-edge protection.
The future of modern gaming sure seems crispy clear and truer to life than ever before.
- CYOA and Storytelling
Choose Your Own Adventure, or CYOA for short, is a type of narrative that taps into interactivity to test, startle, and ultimately engage the audience. As of late, we’re seeing it on Netflix as well, but its primary medium remains a video game, where CYOA with multiple endings is making a comeback.
One of the recent examples of this is Detroit: Become Human, which does not only play with multiple if-then storylines but also examines popular themes like AI and xenophobic roots of racism. Detroit is also a good illustration of the prevailing interest in movie-like experiences navigated by us, players.
Now try and pair that with our first two predictions for the future of gaming.
In combination with screenless gameplays and infinite worlds, CYOA games would seriously cross the line of what’s real and what’s not. There wouldn’t be a limit to players’ choices, but the consequences would not be as severe as in real life. Dear Westworld fans, this future scenario is for you.